When you’re facing homelessness, it can feel scary and hard to know where to turn. But there are a number of organisations that can help you, including your local council. Reach out to them as soon as you know you might be at risk of homelessness.
On this page, we’ll cover the following topics and questions and tell you about the support that’s available out there. Contact the Centrepoint Helpline if you would like to talk this through.
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I think I might be homeless soon
My parents are kicking me out
I'm experiencing violence
I'm at risk of eviction
I'm about to leave care
I’m pregnant or have children and am at risk of homelessness
I'm about to leave university
I'm not a UK citizen
Contact your local council
In England, your local council has a duty to help you if you won’t have a home in the next eight weeks. You don't have to be homeless to approach them for help.
In fact, it’s best to speak to your local council to make a homeless application as soon as possible because it can open the door to other types of support. Your right for this support comes under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.
You might need to visit, call or email the homeless team at your local council a few times until they get back to you. It’s worth persevering, because you’ll get access to support which will, hopefully, prevent you from becoming homeless stop you ending up on the streets. That might be:
- Emergency housing, if you’re considered ‘priority need’
- Temporary housing
- Support to find longer-term housing
- Help to stay in your home
- Family mediation
- Support with domestic abuse
- Guidance on coming to an agreement with your private landlord.
Contact the Centrepoint Helpline
You can call, message or chat live with one of our Helpline advisors if you’re at risk of homelessness. We will connect you with local support.
Consider using a day centre
These offer support to people who are homeless or in ‘vulnerable housing’. They usually offer hot meals, internet access, somewhere to charge your phone, showers and laundry facilities. They may be able to offer advice. Sometimes they can refer you to hostels or other types of accommodation.
Getting kicked out of your home is very distressing. You can ask the council for help if this is happening to you now.
Or if you don’t feel safe in your family home anymore and need to move out, it’s a good idea to get advice and check out your housing rights. If you contact your local council’s homeless team, they’ll ask why you feel you can’t stay at home. They might suggest family mediation to help improve relationships at home
If you’re under 18, the process is a bit different. The law says that you’re still a child, even though you might not feel like one.
If you’re in immediate danger, please call 999.
It’s never okay to experience violence, abuse or threats at home. If you’re leaving home to escape this kind of behaviour, contact your local council.
If you’re fleeing violence, you can go to any local council. You usually need a ‘local connection’ with the council to get housing support, but not if your local area is dangerous for you. The council staff should never try to call the person abusing you to ask if you can return home.
You could contact
24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline
If you’re female and the threat of violence is serious and ongoing, you can may be able to get a place in a refuge. This is a safe temporary place that supports and protects women fleeing violence. Call the National Domestic Violence Helpline for free for a list of refuges around the UK which may have spaces.
Call: 0808 2000 247
Visit the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline site
Men’s Advice Line website
If you’re male and are experiencing domestic violence and abuse from a current or ex-partner, call the Men’s Advice Line for free.
Call: 0808 801 0327
Visit the Men’s Advice Line website
You don’t have to wait until you’re evicted to get help from your local council. They have a duty to support you.
There’s a range of reasons why you might be faced with eviction, such as:
Struggling to pay rent?
Try to speak to your landlord or letting agent as soon as possible. It's normal to feel worried about approaching them, but important to show you're trying to tackle the issue. See if you can come to an agreement on what you can pay and get this in writing.
Behind with your rent?
Contact the homeless team at your local council and ask them how they can help you keep your home. They may be able to speak with your landlord to smooth things over. If you're already claiming housing benefit, ask them about a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). This is a payment that your council can make at their discretion which can help towards housing costs. Keep a record of your DHP application and send a copy to your landlord or letting agent.
Dealing with housing benefit delays?
You can get help from your local Citizens Advice on this, as well as any other housing benefit queries. Keep a record of the names of people you have spoken to and the dates you contacted them. If you do end up going to court, this will prove that you have done everything in your power to resolve the situation.
You could contact
Contact Shelter for free to find out about your housing rights as a tenant or to check if an eviction is legal.. It’s helpful if you have a copy of your tenancy or agreement in front of you when you call, to make answering any questions easier.
If you’re a care leaver under 25, you may be able to get help with housing from social services.
It can be complicated to work out exactly what support you should be getting as it depends on what type of care arrangement you lived in, when and for how long.
You could contact
Get independent advice from an advocacy service. This is an organisation that works to make sure young people get the support they’re entitled to. Search for a local advocacy service in your local area.
Coram Voice (if you're in London)
Just for Kids Law
Being threatened with homelessness is distressing enough. Being pregnant too can make this an extra difficult time. But being pregnant means you are automatically in priority need for housing – as long as you’re eligible and at risk of homelessness. You need to:
- Approach your local council to make a homeless application
- Show proof of your pregnancy from your GP to the local council.
You’re also classed as priority need if you’re at risk of homelessness and have children under 16, or under 19 and in full time education or training.
What does priority need mean? Well, the council must offer you accommodation. This will probably be temporary accommodation and it could be away from your local area. If you turn it down, the council might not offer you anything else until they have made a final decision on your homeless application. Instead, it might be best to accept the offer and ask for a review of it within three weeks if it is not suitable.
If you’re living in student accommodation and are worried about what you’ll do at the end of term, there are a few things you could try next:
- Ask family or friends if you can stay with them for a short time.
- Speak with student services at your university. They can often offer help and support.
- If you were living with your parents but can’t return home, tell your student finance provider. If their financial assessment was based on you being supported by your parents, they may be able to reassess and increase your grant.
Your immigration status will affect what kind of housing support you can get. If you’re not sure if you’re eligible for help, get specialist immigration advice before you apply for housing at the council or for benefits at the job centre.
- Refer yourself to the Advice on Individual Rights in Europe Centre for support with keeping your right to live and work in the UK as an EU citizen. Download the referral form from and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contact a law centre. They offer face-to-face legal advice and some run a telephone advice line. Look for the closest law centre to you and check if they offer immigration and housing advice.
You could contact
Coram Migrant Children’s Project Advice
Coram’s Children’s Legal Centre can offer you email advice from a specialist solicitor on issues affect you as a young person who is a migrant, asylum-seeker or refugee.
Shelter offers housing advice and information.
Call: 0808 800 4444 (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm at weekends).